December 28, 2010
I know it's been months since we've spoken like two functioning people, and maybe it's too little too late, but I'm writing this letter now because I do sincerely want you back in my life. I can't say I'm sorry for anything, because I'm really not, but please hear me out. Whatever you do after is up to you. All I ask is that you leave Cassie's family out of this. Absolutely everything is my fault.
I just want to clear the air for us. As you probably remember, this whole thing started sometime last year, a bit before Christmas. It was nearing the start of a new year, and I was just starting to think of myself as an adult, even if you still didn't. I felt like I was just waking up, and for the first time I stopped thinking of your house as my own.
Maybe you remember being this young and being invincible. It's exhilarating and terrifying all at once and I won't say I'm sorry for any of it.
Prior to the new year I'd never done much of anything against your wishes, but at Cassie's I realized maybe I'd just been afraid the whole time. Cassie was always the bad kid to you, Mom, but she's no different from me. I guess maybe the fact that you were so frightened of her is part of what made us such close friends. She had already been into drinking and who-knows-what for a while, but it was me who made the decision to join her. She didn't make me do anything.
You talked about bad influences, but you can't blame Cassie any more than you can blame the rest of society. In English class back in grade eleven, we read Ken Kesey's novel that he wrote during a decade of LSD use. You can't just blame others for putting ideas in my head; I'm old enough for you to blame me. This is all the same stuff we argued about after you caught me, of course, but it needs to be reiterated. I can't even imagine you at my age, Mom, but I hope there's a part of you that understands. I really wish I could be sorry.
The summer after our argument was the hardest time of my life. I spent the whole two months in my room on the verge of tears. I wouldn't let it show when you saw me, but I don't think I cried as much when Dad died. I hid it all from you because I was afraid of what you would say and think, but I guess now I'm coming clean. You thought it was all about drinking and chasing boys, and I didn't want to scare you, but on some level I always knew that that was farthest from the truth.
The truth is, I don't really know the truth. I don't know why I really did any of it, except that Cassie and I kept spending so much time together and we wanted to. And for some reason, we always got back to Cassie's house alone no matter how many guys were at the party.
I thought maybe you knew but you'd never come out and say it, Mom. I like guys and everything, but I'm in love with Cassie. I don't know if that makes me gay. I don't feel gay, but being grounded this summer with no phone or anything was pure torture. I kept thinking about her, and how special she makes me feel, and how my life is totally ruined. It's the sort of codependent young love junk that's supposed to be bad, Mom, but it hurts. It hurts and I just want it to stop.
I've been trying to stay away from her since I ran away, but she keeps finding me. We keep finding each other, really. I never want her to leave. Cassie still lives with her mom, but she's up here almost every day and we get by. I've been too afraid to call you. I know it's wrong, Mom, but I can't or won't stop any of this.
And I know I'm not sorry because these are the exact sort of growing pains I'm supposed to have at my age, but... why won't they stop? I'm afraid that I'll be like this forever and I won't be able to have a normal life. I love you no matter what and I just want us to return to some level of civility. I really need you right now, Mom.
Cassie says it's my life. I think she means it's my life to fuck up as I see fit. And if you don't want to see it with me, then I really am sorry for that.